Between Traverse City’s sizzling restaurant scene and its Great Lakes Culinary Institute at Northwestern Michigan College, TC kids are all but born epicureans. Throw in parents who love to cook, as is the case with Mary Dueweke’s and, well—it’s no surprise that she headed to the Great Lakes Culinary Institute after graduating from Traverse City West High School. The education broadened her culinary horizons from baking to sophisticated cooking—sauces, flavors, and techniques. Mary is currently working at Poppycocks, downtown Traverse City’s first bistro, founded in 1989. Sundays are often spent enjoying homemade dinners with her friends. They all like it when Mary cooks.

Mary’s Vegetarian Lasagna

  • 1 package lasagna noodles
  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 2 cups ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 cups spinach


Boil lasagna noodles in salt water until al dente. Set aside. Peel and cube butternut squash. Boil until tender. Purée in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine ricotta, egg, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 teaspoons pepper. Set aside. Julienne fennel and onion. Caramelize in butter on medium-low heat in a sauté pan. Set aside.Thinly slice zucchini on an angle. Set aside.

Lightly grease a glass 9×13 pan. Line bottom of the pan with one layer of lasagna sheets.

Alternate layering noodles, ricotta, squash purée, veggies and ricotta and goat cheese until everything is used up. Top with grated Parmesan. Cover in foil and bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover and broil on high for 5 minutes until cheese bubbles and browns.

Note: This recipe is meant to be adjusted to your taste. Love goat cheese? Use more! Don’t like zucchini, but have mushrooms on hand? Swap them!

Find more delicious recipes by Northern Michigan chefs and local foodies in MyNorth’s recipe directory!

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Photo(s) by Dave Weidner